A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice ruled this week that the New York Police Department must disclose their surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests, according to The New York Daily News.
The NYPD must cough up the footage of Black Lives Matter protesters at Grand Central in 2014 and 2015. Department officials were reportedly determined not to release the information with the argument that protesters might be connected to the Islamic State.
Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez dismissed NYPD assistant intelligence chief John Donahue’s terrorism claims on Monday. However, his ruling didn’t become available to the public until Wednesday.
“His speculative and conclusive claims of potential related ongoing investigations of incidents against police officers, both in New York and outside of the state and generalized references to use of materials by the ISIS or ISIL terrorists, fail to provide a casual connection to the protesters and are insufficient to state a generic risk,” Mendez wrote.
Following the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, protester James Logue introduced the case by challenging the NYPD’s denial of a Freedom of Information Law request for information on the rallies.
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Logue said that during the protests, he “observed both uniformed and plainclothes police officers regularly and openly recording events as they were taking place.”
In addition, he said, “The surveillance violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”